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  Why is ET Web Hosting more expensive then "other" hosts?

Written by Henri Straforelli, Owner of ET Web Hosting

The most common question I receive is, "Why are you better then the cheaper low-cost budget providers like 1and1, Godaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator? Why should I pay more to host with you?"

I understand that not everyone needs the very high quality premium business-class level of web hosting we offer.  Here's a very brief comparison to show why we are a little more expensive then the budget discount providers:

  ET Web Hosting   Discount Providers
PRICING We're a little more expensive.   Low-cost discount budget pricing.
OVERSELLING We don't need to put too many customer on our servers because we have chosen to charge a little more instead.   Massive overselling with thousands of customers on every server is required. (It's the only way they can make any profit.)
RELIABILITY Our servers are more reliable because we do not need to oversell.   Servers are typically slow and suffer from unexpected downtime because they are massively oversold with thousands of customers on every server.
HARDWARE Our servers use enterprise-grade SSD (Solid State Drive) storage that is over 100x faster then traditional spinning disk drives. (They're also about 10x more expensive.)   Servers use traditional "spinning" disk drives because it's cheaper. (But they are also much slower.)
PEOPLE Our customer service staff and server technicians treat you like a real person, and not just a number. Our technicians will never speak techno-babble to you. Simply put -- we can take our time to truly understand and resolve any issue you have because you are paying us more.  

Customer service? Haha. If support spends more than a few minutes helping you, then they are losing money.

Their objective is to close tickets as quickly as possible. This is why you typically receive a stock answer to any request for help.

As I mentioned, not everyone truly needs the higher priced premium business-class hosting we offer.

If you don't mind frequent unexpected downtime, your websites loading more slowly, customer service that treats you like you're bothering them or provides "support" with unintelligable techno-babble and stock answers, or if rock-bottom pricing is more important then quality, then I recommend using a discount hosting provider.

OK, that's a nice summary. Tell me more!

Henri Straforelli - Owner of ET Web HostingWhy not just pick the cheapest company who promises unlimited disk space and bandwidth? Good question!

Hello, my name is Henri Straforelli and I am the owner of ET Web Hosting. I created this page because I wanted to try and explain why ET Web Hosting is different then “all the others”, why we're a bit more expensive, and why you should choose and trust us as your website and email hosting provider. Please feel free to if you have any comments or thoughts about this page – my door is always open and I'd love to hear from you.

Executive Summary

What is important to you for your website and email hosting needs? Although practically all web hosting companies promise the same things, not all companies are equal when it comes to actually delivering what they promise. You will probably get exactly what you pay for... and this article explains why.

With ET Web Hosting, you are buying the highest level of hardware, customer service, server management and website/email reliability that is possible. We are a little more expensive then the budget hosts because those things cost a lot of money, and we must charge enough so that we can honestly provide and guarantee what we claim without needing to massively oversell our servers.

Not all hosting companies are equal – what is important to you?

So how do you find the “right” hosting company for your needs? First, you must determine what is important to you and your business:

  • Reliability. Do you care if your website and email are available at all times? Or is the occasional "downtime", slow loading, and email delay acceptable? If your website is a sales tool and email is your customer connection - how will it reflect on your business if they are not available? If your phone service went down for a few hours without notice or if it occasionally took 10 seconds to connect to hear the other person... would you consider that acceptable or would you prefer a higher degree of reliability?
  • Communication. When your website or email is down, do you want to know what's going on? Do you want to know right away if the problem has been acknowledged by the server technicians and what they're doing to fix it?
  • Understandable Support. Is friendly and easy to understand support something you appreciate? If you need help with something (maybe setting up an email address, or trying to understand how or why something works, etc..) do you want a cryptic “geek-speak” or stock answer or do you want the support person to spend a few extra minutes and take the time to fully comprehend your issue and then explain things so you fully understand the resolution?
  • "Always on" Customer Service. How about the ability to communicate with someone RIGHT NOW!? Do you want an actual person you can communicate with to find out more information? What if you need help at 3:00 in the morning? Can you afford to wait until maybe the next day or perhaps even a few days before hearing back from the support folks?
  • Honesty and Integrity. Do you place value on a company who is “up front” about how they operate? Can you trust your business with a discount hosting provider who uses barely-legal marketing tactics and is not honest about their dependence on massive overselling to make any money?
  • The Best Hardware Money Can Buy. Do you care if your website loads as fast as possible? The low-cost providers offer "unlimited" disk space because they use much slower traditional "spinning" disk drives. ET Web Hosting uses only SSD (solid state drives) storage, which is over 100x faster than traditional drives, but are also much more expensive. We don't offer "unlimited" storage because it simply isn't realistic or honest. There is no such thing as an unlimited disk drive.

These are just a few of the key considerations you will use when deciding what company will provide the website and email services for your business. It's an important decision!

But it seems like every company makes the same claims you just outlined above – so why are some cheaper then others?

The only way to answer this question is with an honest explanation of the various costs involved with web hosting and how those costs are then passed to you, the customer. Don't worry, there is a point to all this.. and when you get to the end of this article you will understand why our plans are a little more expensive and hopefully you will decide to trust us with your business.

The costs of a hosting company

Server hardware

There are also some significant differences with hardware in terms of speed-- the biggest difference is with data storage (disk drives).

Our servers use only enterprise-grade SSD (Solid State Drive) storage, which is over 100x faster then traditional "spinning" disk drives. The benefit of using this super-fast SSD storage is that your website and email will load as fast as technically possible. The downside is that SSD storage is very expensive.

By comparison, the discount providers advertise "unlimited" disk space because they use the less-costly older traditional drives that have much higher storage capacity… but are much slower.  So the discount hosts offer "unlimited" storage because their data storage costs are lower.. but your website and email loading speed will be significantly slower.


The "people costs" are definately the biggest portion of the total costs required to operate a hosting company.

Every hosting provider must pay for people to manage and look after the hardware, software, helpdesk, billing, and all the many little details that drive me crazy and keep everything running smoothly all day of every day.

The difference between the employees of ET Web Hosting and the employees of the discount providers is *not* the qualifications.

So how does a hosting company “get back” their costs? How do they make a profit?

OK, at this point you are probably thinking about the hosting plans you’ve seen advertised on the many budget provider's websites and wondering how they can charge so little when the costs are so high.

Every hosting company in the world creates their pricing strategy using the following two basic concepts:

  • Shared hosting
  • Overselling

You can read more about shared hosting, but basically it is the "splitting up" of the hosting company's costs between many customers on the same server. Since most customer websites only need a small portion of a server's total power, the hosting company places multiple websites on each server and then all the websites on that server share the costs - making it cheaper for everyone.

Overselling is when a service provider sells more resources than they actually have available. It's very similar to how airplane tickets are sold. The company knows there are always 2 or 3 people who will buy a ticket but will not use it. So even though the tickets for those 2 or 3 seats have already been sold, the company "oversells" those same seats again to other customers.

In theory, overselling can be a good way for the provider to maximize their resources. With the airplane tickets example above, if the company only oversells 1 or 2 tickets then things will usually work out ok. Overselling only becomes a problem when the company oversells too much. For example, what if they oversold 25 airplane tickets? Now every flight will have a lot of customers who bought a ticket but are not able to get a seat on the airplane because it is too full.

Massive overselling is dangerous!

The discount web hosting providers are gambling the majority of their customer's websites will not need very much "power", and that the server won't become overloaded with all the oversold customers. For example, they might put 2000 customers on each shared server when the server is only designed to handle 500 websites.

It is possible to oversell just about everything. And the discount hosting providers do! They oversell disk space, CPU power, bandwidth, and even customer service and support. For example, the typical response to a support request with a discount provider is to point you to a stock answer from their FAQ or some unintelligible reply that cleary shows they did not even bother to read and understand your request or question. This happens because the cheap hosting provider has oversold their support staff. The support people are just trying to close your support ticket as quickly as possible so they can get to the next ticket. They have a huge line of other customers waiting!

If any hosting provider that advertises 24x7 support isn't charging enough to realistically and honestly cover their expenses without resorting to massive overselling, then you are probably not going to be happy with their support when you really need it most.

Any hosting provider who advertises "unlimited disk space" or "unlimited bandwidth" or "unlimited accounts" is relying on massive overselling to make a profit. They hope only a few of the many customers they have shoved into every shared server will actually use even a fraction of the resources they are promised. (And in all honesty, the terms of service forany "unlimited" host will always have small-print clauses that won't even allow you to come close to using "unlimited disk space" anyway.)

How would you feel if your website and email are constantly down or slow as a result of your shared server being too oversold?

If overselling is so dangerous for the customer, then why do hosting companies do it?

1) They must do it just to survive! The discount hosting providers have chosen to compete on price, and so they offer "unlimited everything" for a super-low cost. The fact is that these providers are massively overselling. There is simply no other way they can make enough money to cover their expenses.

Every hosting server is capable of providing reliable service. Please notice that I said “capable of providing reliable service...” and did not say “will provide reliable service”. A discount hosting provider is forced to massively oversell their shared server's resources... and so they turn a server that is capable of being reliable into a server that is not reliable.

Most website owners simply don't understand how shared hosting works, and that the super-low price they are paying is subsidized by the hundreds (or thousands!) of other customer on their shared server... thereby making their own website and email slower and less reliable.

ET Web Hosting costs more because we do not rely on massive overselling to make a profit.

At this point, feel free to check out our web hosting refugee special offer.

I should point out here that every low-cost discount hosting provider uses overselling as a business strategy. So how do they stay in business if their servers are unreliable? Simple - they have MASSIVE advertising budgets and they have MASSIVE customer turnover. It's a numbers game for them, based on a constant inflow of new "inexperienced" website owners and customers who have specifically chosen low price instead of reliability

2) Greed! (I am being very honest with you right now.) Some web hosting companies purposely oversell their servers because they simply want to squeeze out more money from them. Once enough customers are placed on a server to cover the "basic costs" and make a bit of profit.. many hosts continue to load even more customers because they simply want to make more profit and they don't really care about things like high reliablity.

So how is ET Web Hosting different?

I have committed ET Web Hosting to NOT overselling our shared servers with too many customers. At ET Web Hosting, profit takes a backseat to reliability.

As a result, our prices are NOT the cheapest.

Our hosting plans are a bit more expensive so that we don't need to overload our servers with customers to make a reasonable profit. With ET Web Hosting, you are NOT just buying diskspace and bandwidth for your website and email. You are buying the confidence and knowledge that your website is located on a premium business-class server with plenty of available resources and is not about to crash because we are forced to suck every last drop of money out of it by massively overselling, just to pay our expenses...

At ET Web Hosting, we provide truly reliable web and email hosting service and real 24x7 support, at a realistic pricing, built around solid and honest principles of business.

ET Web Hosting - Why risk your business with anyone else?

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